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Aug 2013

First chapter from my upcoming book:

When I was a child, my older brother Ed and I used to play a game. Inspired by what we had heard about Houdini, we would tie each other up with string and then try to escape. I quickly learned that pulling hard on my restraints simply made them tighter. The harder I pulled the tighter they got.

What worked to free myself was not brute force, but rather to relax, observe the string, find a weak point, and gradually loosen the knot. I learned to closely exam how the knot was structured, so that I could see how the string was tied and where to pull so that I would loosen the knot rather than tighten it.

We humans can unintentionally tie ourselves into knots, and then struggle with the emotion-mental-behavioral traps the we have created for ourselves. There are emotional traps, relational traps and behavioral traps. Like my first efforts at freeing myself from the knotted string that held me trapped, we naturally pull on our restrains—making then tighter in the process. When we fail to escape our troubles, we become discouraged which intensifies whatever was previously troubling us in the first place.

We are neither suffering from a chemical imbalance, nor morally deficient. We just lack the knowhow that would allow us to escape the way that we are bound. This book has a simple goal—to turn you into an escape artist. This doesn’t mean that you will know longer fall into traps, get stuck in depressive ditches, and tug of war interpersonal conflicts. We are after all human and therefore can always fall prey to our trickster mind. Like a guitar that no matter how well in tune will always fall out of tune, and need adjustment, we will find ourselves in locked boxes, tied up with ropes, and handcuffed by life’s difficulties.

What will be offered is to learn to be an escape artist. Once we find ourselves in a trap, we can learn to escape. And by escaping again and again we build our skill and confidence that no matter what mental contraption has us in its grip, we can find the way out. The structure of this book is straightforward. A trap will be explored and methods of escape will be provided. After reading the introductory chapters, feel free to turn to the chapter that is most pressing and begin there.

Congratulations! Your journey to becoming an escape artist has begun.

With love,
The Escape Artist